Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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Light Cruiser

Leipzig Light cruiser

Service Data

In Service: 8 October 1931 to 16 December 1946

Production Data

Builder: Reichsmarinewerft, Wilhelmshaven
Construction No: 117
Laid down: 18 April 1928
Launched: 18 October 1929
Commissioned: 8 October 1931

Technical Data

Type: Light cruiser
Class: Leipzig

Displacement: 6,310 tons standard 8,100 tons full load
Length: 177 m
Beam: 16.3 m
Draft: 5.69 m
Propulsion: 3 × shafts steam turbines and diesel engines. producing up to 65,585 hp
Propellers: 3
Speed: 31.9 knots
Range: 2,800 nautical miles at 16.5 knots
Crew: 850 men and officers
9 × 15 cm L/60 SK C/25
carried 1,080 to 1,580 rounds
2 × 8.8 cm L /45 SK C/30 before 1934
6 × 8.8 cm L/76 SK C/32 after 1934
carried 800 to 2,400 rounds
8 × 3.7 cm L/83 SK C/30 after 1941
14 × 2 cm MG L/65 C/30 after 1941
4 × 3.7 cm L/83 SK C/30 after 1944
8 × 2 cm MG L/65 C/30 after 1944
carried 50 cm torpedoes before 1934
transferred torpedoe tubes to Scharnhorst and Gneisenau after 1944
120 mines
Armour Belt 50 to 70 mm, Deck 40 mm, Turrets 20 mm,
Aircraft: 2 × Arado Ar 196 seaplanes
Operators: Kriegsmarine

Other: Light cruisers


The Leipzig was Commissioned on 8 October 1931 Throughout the Spanish Civil War Leipzig patrolled as part of the international naval blockade.

On 13 December 1939 Leipzig was torpedoed by the Royal Navy submarine HMS Salmon and badly damaged. Two destroyed boiler rooms were renewed as living quarters and the Leipzig was changed into a training ship. She was recommissioned on 1 December 1940. When Germany went on the offensive against the Soviet Union in June 1941 (Operation Barbarossa), the cruiser participated in the shelling of the islands Osel and Dago in the Baltic Sea, before resuming her duties as a training vessel.


8 October 1931
The Leipzig is commissioned.

1 September 1939
The Leipzig carries out operations in the Danzig Beight along with Köln, Nürnberg and the destroyer Leberecht Maaß.

7 November 1939
The Leipzig is in collision with training ship Bremse.

12 to 13 December 1939
The Leipzig along with Köln, and Nürnberg conduct mining operations. The British submarine HMS Salomon torpedoes Leipzig and Nürnberg.

14 December 1939
The already damaged Leipzig, is attacked by the British submarine HMS Ursula, but the torpedo misses and hits the escort ship F9 which is sunk.

1 December 1940
The Leipzig is recommissioned.

27 September 1941
The Leipzig is accompanied by the light cruiser Emden, the Emden sinks the Soviet MTB 83.

1 August 1943 The Leipzig is returned to service with reduced crew.

15 October 1944
The Leipzig is severely damaged in collision with Prinz Eugen, The Leipzig is towed back to Gotenhafen for temporary repairs.

The Leipzig served as stationary training ship at Gotenhafen.

30 June 1945
The Leipzig surrendered at Apenarde and transferred to Wilhelmshaven as a barrack ship.

16 December 1946
The Leipzig is scuttled along with T21 loaded with gas shells. Position 57° 53N 06° 13E.


Hans Herbert Stobwasser
Takes command on 8 October 1931
Ends command on 24 September 1933

Otto Hormel
Takes command on 24 September 1933
Ends command on 29 September 1935

Otto Schenk
Takes command on 29 September 1935
Ends command on 1 October 1937

Werner Löwisch
Takes command on 1 October 1937
Ends command on 3 April 1939

Heinz Nordmann
Takes command on 3 April 1939
Ends command on 27 February 1940

Werner Stichling
Takes command on 1 December 1940
Ends command on 30 August 1942

Friedrich Trugott Schmitt
Takes command on 30 August 1942
Ends command on 25 September 1942

Waldemar Winther
Takes command on 25 September 1942
Ends command on 18 February 1943

Joachim Asmus
Takes command on 18 February 1943
Ends command on 4 March 1943

Walter Hülsemann
Takes command on 1 August 1943
Ends command on 25 August 1944

Heinrich Spörel
Takes command on 25 August 1944
Ends command on November 1944

Hagen Küsfer
Takes command on November 1944
Ends command on January 1945

Walter Bach
Takes command on January 1945
Ends command on December 1945


Leipzig picture 2
Leipzig picture 3

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German Warships, 1815-1945: Major Surface Vessels.
ISBN-10: 0851775330

German Warships, 1815-1945: U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels.
ISBN-10: 155750301X

German warships of the Second World War.
ISBN-10: 0668040378

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